Senate reaches deal on blocking tax increase |

Senate reaches deal on blocking tax increase

WASHINGTON – The Senate reached a consensus Thursday on how to block a looming tax increase affecting millions of taxpayers after Republicans succeeded in thwarting a Democratic plan to pay for the tax relief.A vote on a deal to prevent the expansion of the alternative minimum tax without imposing new taxes to offset the costs of the relief was scheduled for Thursday evening.That would send the measure back to the House, where Democratic leaders, under a principle of not adding to the national debt, previously passed legislation matching the AMT fix and other tax cuts with $80 billion in new tax revenues.Earlier Thursday Republicans united in blocking the Senate from moving to the House-passed bill. The vote was 48-46 against beginning debate on the House bill, 14 votes short of the 60 needed.The agreement, announced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has no offset to make up the $50 billion that the AMT would have raised from largely middle-class taxpayers.House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., suggested Thursday that closing a loophole in offshore funds that have escaped taxation could make up the difference.

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